Is your due date drawing near? If so, we hope you have your hospital bag packed and ready to go! Having a baby is nothing like any other hospital stay, and you’ll need some things you normally wouldn’t pack for an overnight stay. Having everything you need, though, will make the days you spend at the hospital as comfortable as possible.
What to pack for you
- Comfy clothes — Depending on what kind of birth experience you have, you may end up in the hospital for a few days. During that time, you’ll probably have a ton of visitors, and be in a ton of pictures — you’re going to want to look presentable. Bring along something to wear other than your hospital gown, but make sure it’s loose-fitting (you’ll probably still look about six months pregnant after the baby is born). Choose shirts with low necklines or that button up if you plan on breast feeding.
- Soft bras — Your breasts will be sore and tender, and your milk can come in anytime in the first few days. You’re going to need something soft and supportive. If you plan on nursing, bring nursing bras for easier access.
- Toiletries — The hospital will provide everything you need, but it’s nice to have your favorite products. Pack lip balm and lotion, because hospitals tend to be very dry.
- Hair ties — Those first few days are all about comfort. Make sure you can get that hair back out of your face.
- Maternity underwear — The hospital will provide you with mesh panties, but those things are anything but comfortable. Bring your own, but bring out the big guns. You’re going to want something loose and soft — and probably something you won’t mind throwing away later. Now is the perfect time to get that last wear out of those maternity panties.
- Camera/video recorder — You won’t want to forget anything about this time, so make sure you’re equipped to document it.
- Chargers — You’ll probably show up to the hospital with a ton of electronics. We all know you can’t go a whole day without your cell phone, tablet, laptop, iPod or e-reader. Make sure you’re able to keep them juiced up and ready for use.
- Snacks — You’re going to be hungry, both after labor and when you wake up for those midnight feedings. You can’t always trust your nurse to dig up something tasty, so bring it along yourself.
- Change for the vending machine — Eventually those snacks from home will run out, or not be quite what you’re craving!
- Stuff for the hubby — He’s going to be there too, so make sure he has at least a few things to stay comfortable. Pack him a fresh change of clothes and some of his favorite snacks. Don’t worry about the razor — it’s every new dad’s right to be scruffy!
What to pack for the baby
- Clothes — The nursery will probably put him in a diaper and a T-shirt, but you won’t be able to wait long to start whipping out all those cute outfits you’ve been buying. Bring a couple outfits (including one special one for the ride home), and make sure everything has been washed in Dreft Laundry Detergent so it will be gentle on his skin.
- Pacifiers — If you plan on giving him a pacifier, bring a few. The hospital will provide one, but if you have a brand you prefer, give him one of those so he’ll get accustomed to that type.
- Nail clippers or file — He’ll probably make his debut with long fingernails, and they won’t cut them in the nursery. Bring something to take care of them yourself, or pack baby mittens so he won’t put scratches on his pretty little face.
- Car seat — You plan on taking him home, right? Make sure he’s safe when you’re getting there.
- Blanket — You probably won’t need one at the hospital, but you’ll want something to tuck around him on the ride home.
Don’t pack pads, diapers, wipes or formula. The hospital will provide you with more than you need of those items, so save yours for when you get home!